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Authors: Victoria H. Smith

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Holiday Fling (6 page)

BOOK: Holiday Fling
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She put her hand to her head.
Is that true?

“You want the feeling of love, but you don’t want the emotions that come with it. Because if there are no emotions you can’t get hurt. And your fling every year is the one time you get to have that.”

She looked up at him, biting her lip.

“Does that sound about right?” He threaded his hand through her hair.

She hung her head. “What can I do?”

He tipped her chin. “Well, you can start by seeing where this goes with us. Maybe talking to your parents wouldn’t hurt, either.”

She averted her eyes from his. “But what if I can’t? What if I’m not strong enough? I’ll hurt you. I don’t want that. I don’t want you to hurt.”

He brought her chin back again. “Tarrah, with relationships there’s always that possibility, and I’m strong enough to handle it.”

Without another thought, she wrapped her arms around his neck. She was ready for this. To do this with him. She’d desired solidarity in a real relationship for so long, but always let her fear of being left alone and hurt outweigh the desire. She wasn’t going to do that any longer. She was right to try this with Chase. Even after everything she had put him through that day, he was still willing to take a chance on them and what they could have. If he was willing to take that chance, so was she. She could be just as strong as him. They could be strong together.

He lay them down together, securing the blankets around them, before wrapping Tarrah up in his strong arms.

She sniffed against his shirt, finally ending those tears. And her skin tingled every time he kissed her brow.

“Tarrah?”

Pulling back, she stared into his eyes.

“Merry Christmas.” His eyes shifted toward her clock.

It was finally midnight. 12:05 a.m. to be exact. She had made it through the entire evening with him, the entire Christmas Eve. They were still together and hopefully for quite a while.

“And, Tarrah?”

Her brows quirked up.

He smiled and brought her close. “I’m starting school here in the spring for my last semester of med school. I have some broken fences that have long needed to be mended with my family. So we really do have a chance… us.”

She slid her hands to his cheeks and kissed him softly. She couldn’t believe it. The one year, the one time she didn’t have just a fling, was the best Christmas Eve of all. He’d gotten his ultimate Christmas wish at the bank that day and she realized… she finally had, too.

 

Tarrah’s Holiday Fling Playlist

“8 Days of Christmas” – Destiny’s Child

“All I Want for Christmas is You” – Mariah Carey

“Christmas Time is Here” – Vince Guaraldi

“Christmas Tree” – Lady Gaga

“Christmas Wrapping” – Spice Girls

“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” – N*Sync

“Holly Jolly Christmas” – Johnny Marks

“Mistletoe” – Colbie Caillat

“Oh, Santa!” – Mariah Carey

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” - Gene Audry

“Santa Baby” – Kylie Minogue

“The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole

“The Christmas Song” – N*Sync

“Winter Paradise” – Destiny’s Child

“Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney

 

Tarrah’s Favorite Holiday Films

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Story

Elf

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It’s a Wonderful Life

Love Actually

The Polar Express

The Santa Clause

 

Acknowledgements

I want to take a quick moment to thank my family and friends. Without your love and encouragement, this project wouldn’t be possible.

Thanks hubs! I can’t believe you still read all my stories! I appreciate everything you do for me.

A special thanks to my awesome CPs and betas: Carrie, Courtney, Jennifer, and Jaycee. You ladies rock!

Shout out to my NA Sisters! Hearts you ladies!

Most importantly, I want to thank the readers and the book blogging and writing community. Thanks for sticking with me peeps, and I hope to continue bringing you more kooky heroines and smexy heroes!

Oh, and all you lovers of Christmas tunage and cheesy holidays films… you’re not alone. ;D

 

About the Author

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Links

Blog
:
http://twentysomethingfictionwriter.blogspot.com/

Twitter
:
@VictoriaSmith76

 

Other books by Victoria H. Smith

The Bringer’s Quest
(Book Two of the Eldaen Light Chronicles):

Coming Summer 2013

Incandescence
(Book 2.5 of the Eldaen Light Chronicles):

Coming Summer 2013

 

The Crimson Hunt:
Book One of the Eldaen Light Chronicles

Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance

Available Now!

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Hey, loser, would you keep it steady on your end?” Piper asked with a huff. “You’re wobbling more than a frat boy after last call.”

I looked around my edge of the couch with incredulous eyes, unable to believe her nerve. I shouldered most of the weight. “Well, maybe if you put out that frickin’ cigarette and gave me some help—”

“Hey, easy with the attitude.” She continued to speak out the side of her mouth, a smoke cloud curling from her lips. “You should be kissing my feet right now. If not for me, we would have paid twice the amount he was asking for this damn thing.”

Her grin was smug as she puffed on her cigarette, or as she liked to call them, “ciggies.” One week-long excursion in Europe last spring break that almost resulted in an arrest involving a monkey and a pretty wigged out local, and the girl thought she was
cultured
.

I waved my hand in front of me, deflecting the vile fumes.

“You aren’t going to make a habit of smoking those things in the house, right?” After two long years of putting up with people sneaking smokes in the dorms, it would be nice to finally have an option of whether or not I would die from second-hand smoke.

Piper whipped around her firecracker-red bob like I just asked her to give me her soul for safekeeping.

“So we’re establishing house rules, now, are we?” she asked. “How about this?” She set down her end of the couch, forcing me to drop mine. She made a sloppy scout’s honor sign with her fingers—as if I’d ever believe she’d been a Girl Scout. “I promise not to smoke in the house, if you promise not to have a stick up your ass the entire time we’re living together.”

The girl really was as sweet as sugar. “Well, since we’re creating terms, how about you abide by one of my own? I promise not to have a stick up my ass, if you promise not to bring a new guy into the house every other night …
or
if you so choose to do so, at least grant me the common courtesy of playing your music loud enough so I don’t have to listen to all the moaning and groaning.”

I held out my hand for her to shake. She wasn’t the only one who was good at this game.

She propped her hands on her hips and tapped her foot, looking to the sky while she considered my terms.

“Touché, my friend. You got yourself a deal.” She shook my hand, smiling.

I didn’t know how we did it, but we managed to get the blasted thing all the way up our creaky, splintered front stoop and into the living room without killing ourselves. And we managed to save the fifty bucks it would have cost to hire a moving service. Although I suspected the only reason Piper suggested calling movers was so she could sit in a lawn chair in her bikini and sip lemonade while staring at their asses.

“Thank God!” Piper collapsed on the couch, sending a cloud of dust into the air. She waved a hand in front of her face to clear the particles from her vision. “I guess we can get a slipcover or something.”

She put her hands behind her head, daring to lean back onto the leisure item.

I’m so not going to comment on that right now.
I joined her, leaning my head on her shoulder as I admired our hard work. The room really did open up once everything was inside. When we first leased this house from Campus Rentals, it hadn’t been much to look at; now, it almost felt like home. Sure, none of the furniture matched, the paint was chipping off the walls, and the place smelled a little of stale beer, but the house was ours.

I took in a deep breath, but the beer smell and dust caused me to exhale, mid-breath, sending my body into a coughing fit.

Raising her eyebrows, Piper crossed her long, slender legs. Her stylish, black combat boots made a heavy thump as they hit the coffee table. “Say no to drugs, my friend.”

She laughed and put her cigarette out on the arm of the couch. Seeing my outraged expression, she raised her shoulders. “One more burn won’t make a difference.”

“Maybe, but it doesn’t hurt to try and keep what we have as nice as possible. Unless you’re going to pay for a new one?” It wasn’t every day local hobos had yard sales. We’d been lucky to snag the one we got. I had to practically assault an old lady to get it. She hadn’t left us alone until I offered her a coupon for a free tube of pleasure gel I swiped from Piper. Speaking of, I hoped she didn’t make for her purse anytime soon.

Piper sighed. “Whatever, Ariel. Just loosen up. We got our own place now. Enjoy it and relax.”

She was right. I needed to relax. Things could have been worse. I didn’t know what I’d do if I had to spend another year in those damned dorm rooms. I was starting to feel like an old schoolmarm the way I was telling people to shut the hell up on a daily basis. I kicked off my sneakers and bent my toes forward into points. Feeling a pop in my foot, I jolted into a standing position.

The searing pain when my foot hit the floor made me cringe.

“Whoa. Are you okay?” Piper asked, wide-eyed.

“My feet just realized I had been standing all day, is all.” I tried to laugh it off. “I’m going to go walk around the house a bit, maybe that will help.” I moved toward the stairwell stepping over Piper’s legs.

“Okay, then. Wait, where’s your necklace?” she asked.

A rush of blood went straight to my head as I moved my hand to my chest. I immediately searched the room, throwing pillows and textbooks in my wake.

“Don’t panic, A. We’ll find it.”

Too late. I dove behind Piper’s life-size Superman statue, ripping the cords out of a box labeled
Computer
behind it. Piper worked on the next box labeled
Piper’s Crap
.

I finished mangling my box and rose up, hitting my head on Superman’s ass. “Ouch!”

I grabbed my head, while making my way across the room on my hands and knees. “Piper, you need to get that damn thing out of here. It’s an eyesore!”

Normally, Piper would have come back at me with a smart remark, but she knew the seriousness of the situation. If she came at me with more than, “Ariel, you sure look beautiful today,” I would have ripped her a new one. I prided myself on being pretty laid back, but when I panicked, that was another story. It was best she kept her distance, and she knew it.

Piper saw the rapid approach of my psychotic breakdown as I continued my quest. She quickened her pace to aid me, mangling another box labeled
School Crap
. Another one of her brilliantly labeled boxes I was sure.

“When was the last time you saw it?” she asked. “You know, I bet it might be out front. You brushed up against the wall trying to—”

I ran outside. My pupils reacted harshly to the rays of the sun and I covered my eyes with the back of my hand. My vision masked, I tripped and hit the ground so hard my head felt the impact. It didn’t matter. I was headed to the ground to continue my search anyway. The fall just made my trip that much easier.

My fingers scurried through the brush on the walk. I took in a deep breath when I saw a glimmer in the un-trimmed hedge. It was a miracle I even saw it, with how tall the blades were that day.

I heard the sound of Piper’s boots hitting the ground as she joined me. I glanced up to see the pink material of her bare midriff top blowing in the wind.

She bent down, holding her knees at my level. “See, there it is. You had no reason to panic. Ariel, you’re such a spaz sometimes.”

I barely heard her, still in full panic mode.

She placed her hand on my shoulder. “That old thing really means a lot to you, doesn’t it?”

I nodded, closing my eyes as I gripped the octagonal silver emblem. I slid my thumb across the cool moonstone mounted in the center as I continued to calm down. Opening my eyes, I witnessed the swirl of blue inside the stone which sparkled from the few rays of sunshine that made it through the maple canopy. The rounded, eight-point silver mounting still took my breath away with its incandescent shine. I could feel them. I could feel their arms around me again. Relief set in as I pushed myself to my knees. My fingers studied the clasp, analyzing the problem.

Piper waved her hand in front of my face. “Hey, are you okay? Earth to Ariel!”

I ran my hand through my hair. “I’m fine,” I assured her, having finally regained the mental capacity to speak. “The stupid clasp broke.”

“Hmm. Well you probably shouldn’t wear it again … you know, until you can get it fixed. You don’t want to make things worse by losing it.”

BOOK: Holiday Fling
8.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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